Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


6/11/2008 (7 years ago)

Franciscan University of Steubenville (

STEUBENVILLE, OH - "We speak of hearts being broken, of being torn. The depth of your heart is complete intimacy. God gives us the depth of his heart allowing it to be hurt. That is the depth of his love," said Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, at the opening Mass of the Young Adults Conference, held at Franciscan University of Steubenville, May 31-June 1. "He has chosen you to be here and shows his heart so that you can see it. You can view and know his heart."





Franciscan University of Steubenville (

6/11/2008 (7 years ago)

Published in College & University

Father Pivonka's comments kicked off the first of 27 summer conferences sponsored by Franciscan University--11 on the campus in Steubenville, Ohio, and 16 youth conferences that will be held in 11 states and Canada.

The conference attracted hundreds of young adults from over a dozen states, Canada, and England who came for spiritual renewal and strength as they work and live in a culture they often find themselves at odds with.

The conference theme "C4 and the New Evangelization" referred to the Four C's needed to transform one's life in Christ: Conversion, Catechesis, Community, and Commissioning. Father Pivonka and the other conference speakers challenged the attendees to open themselves to receive God's love into their hearts throughout the weekend and make a personal commitment of love. "Something radically changes in your spiritual life, when you are engaged in the heart," Father Pivonka said.

Andrew Craven, a high-school Spanish teacher from St. Raphael's Parish in Newark, New Jersey, said, "It's good to come and recharge my faith. I need this; it helps me in all different aspects of my life."

Conference speaker Chris Cuddy gave his testimony of conversion, and challenged conference goers to realize the importance of conversion in their own lives--before planning on changing anyone else's. He quoted St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, saying, "We are here to be converted, to be transformed more fully into Christ."

He emphasized that young adults need to simply let Christ shine through their actions. "You don't do apologetics," said Cuddy. "You are apologetics. As young adults, you need to ask, how can Christ's love transform my heart? If you do that, if Jesus is in you, every person will encounter Christ when they encounter you."

On Saturday, the theme of "C4" continued with two rounds of workshops on topics including "Rooted in Christ--Prayer That Transforms," "No New Evangelization Without First Love," "Why Holiness Isn't Easy (And What to Do About It)," and "Finding Your Evangelistic Voice."

In the workshop "No New Evangelization Without First Love," popular Catholic musician and speaker Father Stan Fortuna, CFR, challenged attendees to keep the fire of Christ burning and never run the risk of becoming lukewarm in their faith.

He talked about St. Francis Assisi, using him as an example of how to develop the fire of Christ. "The fire of love that is first found in the heart of St. Francis can be found in the hearts, feet, and side of Christ," he said. "Follow St. Francis and his passion to dive deeper into love."

His urban descriptions of life in the Bronx caught participant's attention as he spoke, rhymed, and even rapped during his talk. "Life is in a stale matter of affairs," Father Fortuna said. "The world is suffering through hatred, depression, and self-death. You must return to the fire of the first love of Christ."

In the workshop "Finding Your Evangelistic Voice," Lisa Epperson, eastern U.S. and international director for Life Teen, challenged conference goers to learn how to speak out and stand up for their faith.

"We need to be stretched and overcome our fears that hinder us," she said. "I'm talking about the excuses that we make, when we worry about what people will say about us."

Her interactive workshop gave attendees practice in finding their evangelistic voice. Epperson presented situations in which they would be challenged and asked them to discuss how they could speak without fear.

Conference attendees also had time for fun and socializing. On Saturday evening, sno-cones and cotton candy were offered at the social gathering where people met and connected.

Louise Tucker, coming all the way from Rushley Green, London, England, knew that this was an experience that she would never forget. "This has been a dream of mine for years. During this conference, I was able to grow in my faith and realize that God has always been leading me."

The conference ended with Mass on Sunday, where Father Dave Pivonka once again challenged the Young Adults to make a choice, to follow the demands of the Father.

"When we say yes to the will of the Father, we are able to live our lives in fullness," he said. He told them they must take what they have gained through the conference and share it with their friends, family, and their home parishes.

"I came to this young adults conference to take my faith to the next step," said Karen Proulx from Our Lady of Sorrows/St. Anthony's Parish in Hamilton, New Jersey. "This weekend has definitely helped me."

Other upcoming Franciscan University summer conferences include the Defending the Faith Conference, which focuses on Catholic apologetics, and the St. John Bosco Conference for Catholic educators. For more information, including a complete list of conferences for adults and youth go to


More College & University

Religion and Science: The Evolutionary Controversy

Image of

By Kyle Jorstad, Grove City College

Catholic Online welcomes scholarly submissions for consideration, contact Abstract: Though members of the scientific and atheistic community alike often tout science as the downfall of religion, theories regarding Darwinian evolution ... continue reading

Do you love America? What these college professors were caught doing on camera will shock you! Watch

Image of The Constitution codifies many liberties, including the right to shred the Constitution itself.


It should be no surprise that America's colleges and universities are overrun with anti-American liberals who lack all respect for the country and the principles upon which it is founded. In an age where political correctness has run amok, students are indoctrinated by ... continue reading

Catholic Colleges: Tackling Student Loans Ethically


By Caitlin Bootsma

It's almost an assumption in today's world that students will take out a staggering amount of debt to be able to attend a four year university. And, with college costs rising faster than the rate of inflation, 18 year olds are signing themselves up for increasingly ... continue reading

Franciscan nun becomes first woman head of a pontifical university Watch

Image of Sister Melone is an alumnus of the university set up in 1890 in honor of St Anthony, a 13th century saint from Spain known for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of the Bible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education made history last week when it nominated a Franciscan nun as the first woman head of a pontifical university. In a position held usually by priests, Sister Mary Melone will become the rector of the Pontifical ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Graduates First Nursing Cohort in 25 Years

Image of University of St. Thomas Nursing Graduate, Elizabeth Ciocco

By Darnell Miller - University of St. Thomas

This May 27 nursing students, including Elizabeth Ciocco, will be the first nursing students to graduate from the University of St. Thomas in nearly 25 years.  Ciocco joins 298 undergraduates and 739 graduates at the University's 64th Commencement ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Honors Research Goes 6 Feet Under

Image of Honors Program students consider the issues of death and mortality in the Contemporary Seminar research presented at UST's Research symposium.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

A few hundred people have undergone cryopreservation procedures since 1962, having their bodies cooled to sub-zero temperatures, with the hope that one day they may be brought back to life using highly advanced technology. It's the kind of issue-along with assisted ... continue reading

What the devil?! Bill Gates wants your college info so he can tell you what classes to take Watch

Image of Bill Gates could do so much more if only he had your privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It might be easier to compose a short list of people and agencies that don't want to spy on you. Adding his name to the long list, Bill Gates has proposed tracking the lives and careers of college graduates as an ongoing means to assess college value. Of course, they'd ... continue reading

Two Cardinals, a Theologian and a Historian to Lecture at the University of St. Thomas

Image of N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholar.

By Darnell Miller, University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas is fortunate to have four outstanding speakers giving lectures on campus in the month of March. These speakers include N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholars; Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto; Dr. Andrew ... continue reading

Women Succeed in UST Engineering, CUA is New Partner

Image of Kendall Niemann is a UST cooperative engineering student studying at the University of Notre Dame.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

In the male-dominated field of engineering, it can be difficult for women to succeed, but last year, all four graduates of the University of St. Thomas cooperative engineering program were women, and three of them were Hispanic. Dr. Sheila Waggoner said she is proud of ... continue reading

Mardi Gras King, Queen Exemplify UST Mission

Image of University of St. Thomas Mardi Gras King and Queen, C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith.

By Vivian Cabrera - University of St. Thomas

The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of faith and character. With the crowning of C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of ... continue reading

All College & University News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • A special look into the inspirational meeting between Pope Francis ...
  • St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Evidence mounts: U.S. supplying ISIS, herding fighters towards Syria ...
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is good
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More